David Walsh, the Irish journalist who was sceptical of Lance Armstrong long before it became fashionable, tells a poignant story.

His son John was at school, learning about the Nativity, when he had a question for his teacher.

He wondered if Mary and Joseph were so poor, what did they do with the gold given to them by the three wise men?

The teacher had no answer.

John tragically died in a traffic accident aged 12, but his memory burns brightly in his father, who will never forget the boy's impressive curiosity.

"Question everything," Walsh wrote.

Walsh had a bundle of questions for more than a decade about Armstrong and played no small part in the doping downfall of the Tour de France star.

Now, in another sport on the other side of the world, there are many serious questions for Essendon and their football department.

The questions fall into two distinct categories.

Firstly, have Essendon players taken banned substances?

If yes, it is the biggest crisis in the game's history. Essendon and the AFL come under the World Anti-Doping Agency code, which is strict on doping offences. We're talking two-year bans, if not more.

If no, the whole game can breathe a massive sigh of relief - but hopefully learn a timely lesson about "pushing the envelope" with training methods.

The second category of questions is vast, but can be summed up as governance.

Or, "what the hell has been going on at Essendon?"

Who knew about the supplements in question and when? Did the board know? Was the whole football department, including coach James Hird, across what was happening?

Were players ordered to sign waivers?

Were the supplements administered away from the club?

Was sports scientist Stephen Dank, AKA "The Pharmacist", under proper supervision while he worked at the club? How was fitness coach Dean "The Weapon" Robinson involved?

Did Essendon really learn about this problem only a day or two before it went to the AFL?

And so on. But you get the picture.

Also, no-one who follows the AFL or works in the industry should be shocked about this.

Think about it - a billion dollar-plus sport, with the attendant massive pressure for success.

People in sports such as cycling and athletics are now looking over the fence at the AFL and grimly thinking "now you know what it's like in the real world".

Question everything. Ask what Mary and Joseph did with the gold.

But be warned - you might not like the answers.

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel